The Department is a rich and thriving centre for research across the music disciplines. We sustain a dual commitment to cutting-edge, contemporary creative practice in composition and performance and to critically aware scholarship couched in the written and the spoken word. Our work explores the qualities and character of human experience, offering solutions to real-life challenges and adding to the store of human imagination and knowledge. Extending across a wealth of conceptual, geographic, and historical fields and genres, the Department comprises Ireland’s most open-minded, stimulating, diverse and interdisciplinary environment for the study of music.

As creative and critically engaged artists and scholars, we are committed to:

(a)  developing and enriching the contribution that music and the arts makes to the region, to Ireland and internationally, and

(b)  exploring the qualities of human experience to generate solutions to real-life challenges and to add to the store of human knowledge.

To achieve this, we work in, across and between a broad set of disciplines and approaches. These include:

composing, which incorporates devising new music in performance as well as in advance of it, and ranges from writing music on a score to designing software or utilizing other interactive approaches to music production, such as the collection and manipulation of a wide range of pre-existing and newly imagined sounds;

performance – among other areas, our work currently embraces popular music, jazz, Irish traditional music and dance, Western art and church music from the Renaissance to the present day, music for Indonesian gamelan, and several kinds of experimental sound practice;

ethnomusicology, with recognized geographical specializations in music from China, England, Greece, India, Ireland, Indonesia and Taiwan, and theoretical focuses on applied ethnomusicology, archival work, orality/aurality, cognitive ethnomusicology, biography, indigeneity/native ethnomusicology, and music analysis;

musicology – our work studies cross-cutting issues such as gender, race, disability, movement and trauma applied to a set of approaches and materials from Renaissance church music to global hiphop and from film soundtracks to French song; and

music education, which includes studies of in-school teaching and learning in Ireland, adult learning as part of the music profession in several cultural settings, and the reshaping of the ways Irish traditional music is taught and acquired in the contemporary state.

Each area is pursued dynamically and with rigour, and strongly underpinned by recent grant awards from funding bodies including the Arts Council of Ireland, Enterprise Ireland, the European Research Council, the Irish Research Council, the China Education Ministry and Music Generation.

Many staff are leaders in their respective research fields. We work alongside a team of research affiliates and research students, as well as in partnership with colleagues across the university, and we engage with the wider public across the city, region, nation and globe. Collectively, staff enjoy an international reputation for the impact and contribution of their research.

Selected recent staff research (books, articles, performances, compositions, etc.):

Michelle Finnerty. “Interpreting the musical cultures of children in Ireland: an ethnography exploring children’s perspectives and voices in middle childhood experiences in Cork.” University College Cork & St. Patrick’s College, Dublin City University: PhD Thesis, 2016.  further information

John Godfrey, as director of Quiet Music Ensemble. ‘Medytacjes’, Sacrum Profanum Festival, ICE Conference Centre, Krakow, Poland, 1 October 2017. David Toop, night leaves breathing (Polish premiere); Alvin Lucier, Shadow Lines (Polish premiere); Rishin Singh, Grisaille No. 1 (World Premiere); Jennifer Walsh, Dordán and An Gleacht (Polish premiere); Pauline Oliveros, The Mystery Beyond Matter (Polish premiere).  further information 

Alexander Khalil. “The Gamelan Project: teaching, playing with, and learning from American schoolchildren playing Balinese gamelan,” in Performing Indonesia, eds. Andrew McGraw and Sumarsam (Freer and Sackler Galleries, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, 2016 [online publication]).  further information

Mary Mitchell-Ingoldsby. twas Tír na nÓg itself’: The Muckross Music Collection: Fieldwork in North Kerry 1980-1990,” Folk Life: Journal of Ethnological Studies 54/2 (2016): 132-161.  further information

Tríona Ní Shíocháin. Singing Ideas: Performance, Politics and Oral Poetry. Oxford and New York: Berghahn, 2018.  further information

Paul O’Donnell. 2017. Thin Lines, featuring Paul O’Donnell (piano, composer) with Niwel Tsumbu (guitar, percussion), Matthias Schriefl (trumpet), Nick Roth (sax), Thomas Gall (drums), Peter Erdei (bass). Cork: [CD] PD003.  further information

Lijuan Qian. Kuanrongde zhuliu: Zhongguo bashi niandaide liuxing gequ (A Tolerant Mainstream: Pop Song in 1980s China). Guilin: Guangxi Normal University Press, 2016.  further information

Jillian Rogers. “Ties that Bind: Music, Mourning, and the Development of Intimacy and Alternative Kinship-Networks in World War I Era France,” in Music and War in Europe from the French Revolution to World War I, ed. E. Jardin, 415-443. Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols, 2016.  further information

J. Griffith Rollefson. Flip the Script: European Hip Hop and the Politics of Postcoloniality. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2017.  further information

Jonathan Stock. “Violence.” Music and Arts in Action 6/2 (2018): 91-104: Special Issue: Keywords for Music in Peacebuilding; 7,515 words.  further information

Jeffrey Weeter. “Interlude for Prepared Piano”. Performed by Amy Williams on 4 November 2018 (Constellation, Chicago), 23 February 2019 (New Music festival, California State University Fullerton), and 21 March 2019 (Bowerbird, Philadelphia).  further information


Contact Details

Departmental Research Committee:

            Jonathan Stock (chair),

            John Godfrey,

            Melanie Marshall,



Department of Music

Roinn an Cheoil

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